On the UFO rumor level, there had been hints and allegations that President Kennedy was assassinated because he wanted to cooperate with the Soviet Union on the space program. Such proposed sharing logically would have raised grave concern among the hawkish elements within the CIA and the Department of Defense.
A document that is relevant to this rumor is titled “National Security Action Memorandum No. 271”, dated November 12, 1963. It is from President Kennedy to The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Subject: “Cooperation With the USSR On Outer Space Matters”.
In the memorandum, President Kennedy instructs the NASA administrator to begin planning for cooperation, and requests a progress report by December 15, 1963. A list of agency heads receiving copies are included in the memorandum.
I had become aware of this document after reviewing material from Robert Wood’s private collection of “MJ-12” related items.
Here is a copy of the memorandum from the Wood collection. You may notice the declassification notations at the bottom of page one. This tipped me off to the possibility that the original document might be in the archives.
And here is the original document that I retrieved from the National Archives on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 (two pages):
Note there are no redactions. There were two additional documents in the box as well. They refer to follow up discussions that occurred after President Kennedy was assassinated. The first document below is six pages, the second is two pages.
Seems to me that if there was a motive to assassinate President Kennedy because of his interest in working with the USSR on space, that there wouldn’t have been any follow up work.
Reference Cutler Twining instructions dated July 13, 1953 which I have received on loan from the Robert M. Wood private collection of MJ-12 related documents. Photo of document shown below. (“Document A”). In the upper left hand corner of the page Stanton Friedman notes that it was located in LIbrary of Congress.
I searched for the document at the LOC Madison building on Friday, February 21, 2020. Photos of document pulls are shown below.
Objective of the search was to confirm the existence of “Document A”. Interest in the document arises from the phrasing “your concurrence with the above arrangements is assumed”, which matches the phrasing in the questioned Cutler Twining memorandum dated 07/14/1954,
Twining’s daily log of July 16, 1953 does indicate that he spent the entire day at the National Security Council, matching the date in “Document A”.
Most of the material in the Twining files that I reviewed at the LOC is innocuous. Much of the material includes thank you letters, official travel plans etc. There is a small amount of material concerning Korean War POWs that had claimed US use of chemical weapons while under duress. None of the documentation in the files anywhere approached the appearance of “Document A”, in that the highest security classification shown in the material I examined was “Secret”, with most being “Confidential”. (There were some with “Restricted”). All security appellations were marked through.
There is one file folder in box 63 denoted “White House”, (see below) but “Document A” is not in there. An example of a White House communication is also shown at the bottom of this article. Stationary size is approximately 7.5” x10.5”. It is noted that “The White House” and “Washington” are centered on the stationary found in the file, whereas they are not centered in “Document A”.
In all the documents in the available Twining files I looked at (February 21, 2020), any declassification was listed in the cover inventory sheet within each file. All classification stamps were marked through. In “Document A” there are top secret and eyes only stamps, but there is no indication of declassification and no mark throughs.
An archivist searched for “Document A” on my behalf, checking boxes I had not looked at, and even searched the secured vault. “Document A” was not found. The archivist is renewing the search on Monday, February 24.
There are several “red flags” I’ve noticed so far on “Document A”: a) There are no indications of declassification. Considering that the security level is Top Secret and Eyes Only one would think declassification would be in order. In the LOC there would be clear indications of declassification such as strike throughs. Even if the document was retrieved in the National Archives (and if Friedman mistakenly wrote Library of Congress in the upper left hand corner), there should have been a stamp on the document with the “declass” number written in. The only other possibility that would explain the lack of declassification would be if the document was photographed in the National Archives with a photocopy subsequently made offsite, b) “Washington” on “Document A” is off center, whereas an actual sample of the stationary shown in this article is definitely centered, c) It seems strange that such secrecy would be imposed on this memo when it was merely comprised of instructions about arrival and meeting attendance. “Absolute secrecy” is ordered in the memo, but d) Intriguingly Twining’s daily log clearly states that he was at the National Security Council all that day.
This situation merits further investigation.
UPDATE AS OF 02/22/20:
In checking with Stanton Friedman’s book TOP SECRET/MAJIC, I quote from his Chapter 5, The Cutler Twining Memo, (Page 92-93): “As Bill read the memo to me over the phone, I was immediately reminded of a July 13, 1953 Cutler-Twining memo we had found in late 1981 in General Twining’s papers at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. Inside a box of material that had been declassified, we found a folder labeled TOP SECRET EYES ONLY – normally the most classified material. Two memos in the file-both from Cutler-dealt with Operation Solarium. One was dated June 25, 1953, and was routed through the Secretary of Defense and then on to General Twining, who was at that time the Air Force chief of staff. The other was dated July 13, 1953, and was sent to Twining.”
I have forwarded this information to the archivist.
“I am glad of all details,….whether they seem to you to be relevant or not.” (Sherlock Holmes, “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”) (1)
I’ve advocated for some years that UFOs are an intelligence gathering and analysis problem rather than a purely scientific one. Science should be a subset of the effort.
We receive clues from a variety of sources in this arena including field investigations, media stories, rumors, folklore, government documents, “whistleblower” testimony, popular entertainment, abductee, experiencer and contactee tales, as well as questioned documents and claims. It’s available worldwide from a variety of points, but it needs to be evaluated, synthesized and summarized into a coherent assessment.
The UFO issue is too complex to be burdened by rigorous scientific protocols. Such methods don’t work in the UFO domain because there is little to actually measure and we have no controls over the conditions in which we study the phenomenon. Until we have such advantages, science should take a back seat in our pursuit of the overall question.
How we feel about our efforts and the progress we make depends directly on how we frame the mystery. Outlining this puzzle in exclusively scientific terms can stymie forward movement. If we gather all the information that we can and analyze it in systematic, rational ways, progress might be made.
I advocate an approach akin to how intelligence agencies operate. They gather data and analyze it, but use science only as a tool to help with specific determinations. The point is to figure out what’s really going on, rather than try to “scientifically” prove things.
Modern UFO history has taught us that something is definitely happening. We need to understand the capabilities and intentions of the UFO culprits, whatever they are.
Given the lack of any substantive confirmation of the UFO reality from authorities, our challenge will be create our own “Estimate of the Situation”.
It’s a huge mountain to climb, but seventy plus years of history provides enough information for an effort to be made. It’s up to the UFO community to do it, and it could be a pathway leading to a greater level of confidence. And more confidence is just what we need.
Let us consider that to be our mission….
(1) (Citation) – Chapter 6, The Crashed-Saucer Documents p. 81; from Mysterious Realms by Joe Nickell with John F. Fischer; Prometheus Books
“Conversation – The New Space Age and UFOs, with Bryan Bender, Dr. Kelsey Johnson & Dr. Matthew Knight”. October 22, 2019. University of Maryland campus, College Park Maryland. Interview Quote. https://youtu.be/qwc8GntcgQc
Talk on MJ-12, Maryland MUFON, November 16, 2019 1:30pm, (Marc Gershuny Acting State Director), American Legion Post #17, Annapolis Maryland
MUFON Marin Sonoma (Zoom), Lorien Fenton Host, August 1, 2020 mufonmarinsonoma.com Presentation on Mj-12 (“MJ-12 Unanswered Questions”; “Mj-12, The Counterintelligence Angle”) (Note: The meeting host requires a nominal charge of $5.50 to view the program; [Tom Whitmore receives none of the proceeds])
Night Dreams Talk Radio, Hosts Gary Anderson and James Creachbaum, August 19, 2020 nightdreamstalkradio.com
“On Target – Larry Sparano”. Host Larry Sparano, Pre-recorded on Wed. August 19 and posted on YouTube August 26, 2020 https://youtu.be/-d75L5XKIIg
Undetermined, The Podcast, Hosts Jon Hammond and Matt Langston, Pre-recorded on Sat. August 22, Posted on August 29, 2020 https://anchor.fm/undetermined-podcast/episodes/Special-Guest-Tom-Whitmore-of-MUFON-eiqpcj
The Official MUFON Podcast, Host Richard Beckwith, Sunday, November 1, 2020. https://youtu.be/t7v4Uv9eHxQ Corrections: Gabriel Valdez was a New Mexico state policeman (not sheriff). The Cutler Twining memo was discovered in 1985, not 1987.
Mid 14th century Europe was devastated by a disease commonly known as the bubonic plague or Black Death. It reduced the human populations of affected areas in the European continent anywhere from 25 to 60%. Once the symptoms of the disease appeared, the victims had about a 50-50 chance of dying within a week. The social and economic consequences of the plague were profound, not to mention the survivors’ psychological trauma and shaken confidence in how their world worked.
And how did their world work? The paradigm at that time assured that God directed events. Logic implied that since society was visited with such a catastrophe, it must have been punishment for humankind’s sins. (Medieval thinkers liked conspiracy theories too – such as Jews poisoning water wells). That model may have satisfied some, but it left medieval society without a clue as to what was really causing the pandemic.
And just what was causing it? That wouldn’t be learned until 500 years later by a bacteriologist named Alexandre Yersin with the Pasteur Institute who discovered the bacterium Yersinia Pestis in 1894.
So what does all that have to do with UFOs?
In contemporary society we form assumptions, beliefs and theories about the world based on acquired knowledge. Our models of how the universe works arise from scientific advances and rational thinking processes. We are as confident in our world view as the medievals were of theirs in the 14th century. And that’s a problem.
When it comes to an ultimate understanding of the UFO issue, our notions could be as wrong as medieval society’s concerning the Black Plague.
You might be familiar with a knowledge matrix in which one of the quadrants contains the value “You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know” (the Blind Spot). In terms of medieval society’s understanding the Black Plague in the 14th century, that quadrant value was huge. It could well be just as large for us moderns in our knowledge gap involving the true nature of the UFO phenomenon. If this analogy holds, it might mean we could be a very long way from a proper understanding of the problem.
Why? In the middle ages, they did not have science, and society wasn’t aware of a level of knowledge and understanding beyond their God centered world model. And so, we may need to entertain the possibility that there could be a level of knowledge and understanding beyond science as we know it! As the medievals lacked the proper worldview, technology and mental skills to solve their plague problems, so we may lack the same in order to understand UFOs properly.
It’s nearly impossible to scratch our way out of our quadrant in the short term. In the long run the challenge won’t require critical thinking so much as creative thinking. Such creative thinking requires that all boundaries be loosened, that all bets are off, all rules null and void. It means entertaining any and all possibilities. Nevertheless, with even the most skilled creative exploration, in the short run our ideas may be as irrelevant as those would have been in the 14th century with such an approach.
Getting where we need to be may involve incremental progress over many, many years. Almost certainly it will require one or more breakthroughs and very likely a major paradigm shift. Our quadrant is a big fat blank spot, and it should be a lesson in humility for us.
To quote Jacques Vallee from his book Anatomy of a Phenomenon (page 42), “We are dealing with a very deep and complex system of stimuli whose study cannot be undertaken without asking fundamental questions concerning our vision of the world as a whole.”
It has been alleged that on July 8, 1947 General Vandenberg urgently visited Vannevar Bush at the Joint Research and Development Board related to the Roswell event. The following information had been posted on the Internet concerning the visit (http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Vandenberg_logs.html):
Over the past few days I’ve been reviewing Hoyt Vandenberg’s daily logs for 1947 at the Library of Congress. Here is confirmation of the document that had been on the Internet.
This of course doesn’t prove anything, but I think it’s good to confirm documentation that has been presented to the UFO public.
Today has been productive for me. In the past I remembered a short remark in U.S. News and World Report about the government coming out with “unsettling disclosures” about UFOs. I knew it was in the later 1970’s but wasn’t sure when it was published. Thanks to my excellent Internet researcher friend “Louis”, the date of the edition along with the text was located.
I visited the Library of Congress and requested the hardcopy. Photos of the April 18, 1977 cover and relevant page are shown here.
To my mind, this is one of the most significant documents in modern UFO history. Jimmy Carter had recently been inaugurated as President, and he had made a campaign promise to release all the government information about UFOs. This news story implies that he had been briefed. With such “unsettling” information, perhaps the authorities thought it best to play it safe…..
I authored the following editorial on the Spaced Out Radio website on October 16., 2019. Many thanks to Dave Scott and Gail Shirk for posting it!
COOPERATION AND CONFLICT IN THE UFO COMMUNITY
Conflict in the UFO community is nothing new. It has been a continuing feature of the UFO scene since the modern UFO era began in 1947, while cooperation has been informal and sporadic. I have always felt that the UFO community is like a political party in exile. We have a vital interest in an outcome, with no power to bring it about.
Exiled parties have a history of backstabbing, betrayal and viciousness, and the UFO public is certainly no exception.
The UFO subject is a very difficult one. In my quest for greater knowledge and understanding, I prefer to use the term Rational rather than Scientific. It’s hard to do real science when you don’t know where, when or how you are going to see a UFO. This field requires patience, a long term view, and a tolerance for ambiguity. We should accept these conditions, even embrace them.
At the same time, some believe that if UFO researchers just straighten up and fly right, establishment science will come on board. I think that’s quixotic. Of course researchers and investigators should act professionally. But it will make little or no difference as to whether the science establishment will participate. Mainstream science will not get involved until there is a clear signal from an authority that UFOs are real and must be taken seriously. Let’s get off that particular bandwagon of self criticism and concentrate on doing our own work as best we can, with the capabilities and the resources that we have.
A quality I continually find missing in the UFO scene is courtesy. In this field we often disagree and become frustrated with one another. But we should behave with an attitude of courtesy and respect. That goes not only for how we treat individuals, but groups and organizations as well. Merely acting out of what one believes is “The Truth” while ignoring courtesy only creates more division, unpleasantness, rancor and discord. Any fool can criticize and mock others. We need to treat each other with kindness, not animosity.
There are no ready answers in this field. Resolution of the UFO issue could be beyond our society’s capabilities at his time. It could literally be hundreds of years before we have a better understanding. No individual, group or organization should be blamed for not having “Answers”. Conflating UFO issues into political agendas (world peace, medical panaceas, alternative energy, climate change) just adds to the confusion. The most we can hope to accomplish at this point in time in our efforts is to learn more, to move the ball forward.
So, how can we accomplish this? We can study field investigation and conduct investigations in a professional way, and carefully document our findings. We can engage in historical research and attempt to dig deeper. We can volunteer to help one or more groups with a mind to advance knowledge, rather than just promote ourselves. Above all – we should study the UFO phenomenon rationally rather than emotionally.
Let’s find ways to cooperate with one another rather than create conflicts. The UFO problem is difficult enough without causing more division.
Chuck Berry said “Your lovin’ give me a thrill…”, well, viewing original historical documents gives ME a thrill !!!
I had been spending Sept. 21 through Sept. 27 examining the the papers of General Nathan F. Twining held in the Library of Congress (“LOC”), Madison Building, Manuscript Reading Room, Washington DC.
There are so called “Finders Aids” for many of the contents in the Manuscripts section. Once you have an LOC ID card, you can go into the file cabinets and pull the hardcopy versions. The aids are also posted on-line at the Library of Congress web site loc.gov.
Nathan F. Twining was Commanding general, 20th Air Force, Pacific in 1945; Commanding general, Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio (Lt. Gen.) from 1945 to 1947; Commander in chief, Alaska (1947-1950) and became a full general of the US Air Force in 1950. From 1950-1953 he was Air force vice chief of staff under General Hoyt Vandenberg. Vandenberg died from cancer in 1954, and Twining became Air Force chief of staff from 1953-1957. He served as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1957 to 1960. Nathan F. Twining died at Lackland AFB in 1982 (Source: Nathan F. Twining finders aid summary).
As you may be aware, the Roswell incident occurred in July 1947.
General Twining is listed as member of the alleged MJ12 group in the questioned “Eisenhower Briefing” document. If you are unfamiliar with the subject of MJ12, please see the Wikipedia article well as the document itself.
On page 42 on Stanton Friedman’s book Top Secret/MAJIC, he mentions correspondence between Twining and Earl Schaefer. To quote: “(Schaefer) …had written on July 10 asking Twining to stop by to see the prototype XL-15 liaison plane on his way to Seattle. In his July 17 response to Schaefer, Twining said ‘with deepest regrets we had to cancel our trip to the Boeing factory due to a very important and sudden matter that developed here….’ “ (The implication being that Twining was involved in the Roswell recovery aftermath).
I have been able to confirm Friedman’s reference. Here is the actual document from Twining’s personal correspondence in Box 18 of the Twining papers in the Library of Congress:
The Eisenhower Briefing Document (“EBD”) was in the original MJ12 set of documents received by UFO researchers William Moore and Jaime Shandera. They received them in 1984 on a roll of 35mm camera film. Notice that the date on on the EBD is “18 November, 1952” (see link above). Skeptics and debunkers of the MJ12 documents have pointed out that such a date format is not used in US government record keeping and correspondence. In the numerous documents that I viewed in the Twining daily logs, the date format is consistent as “28 September 2019”. However I did turn up something interesting in Twining’s personal correspondence file:
As the date format is the same as in the EBD and is from the New Zealand legation, I’m planning on following up to see if that date format is/was standard for government communications “Down Under” (or perhaps in other English speaking countries such as UK or Canada) during the 1984 time frame. The EBD is widely believed to be a forgery. Could the forger have been from Australia/New Zealand/UK/Canada ?
The Twining daily logs consisted primarily of appointments the general had during working hours. There were also logs of phone conversations with subordinates and various high level officers. Interestingly, most of the phone logs do not include conversations he (must have) had with General Vandenberg, his boss. I reviewed every single document word for word in the 1952 file. There are a couple interesting tidbits related to UFOs:
This is the second page of the phone log for July 21, 1952. See 16:30 Gen. Chidlaw to Gen. Twining, mid paragraph:
Here is the daily log for July 28, 1952. General White is standing in for Twining who was out of town at the time:
I found a number of references to Twining meeting with Mr. Harold C. Stuart on various occasions. Mr. Stuart served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civil Affairs for a time. I will be addressing Harold Stuart in another blog.
My most interesting finding was Twining’s daily log for November 18, 1952, the date of the Eisenhower Briefing Document. Take a look at this:
As I said above, I reviewed every single document in that file folder, and the log for November 18 is the only reference to President elect Eisenhower. This came at the end of the last day of my work sequence (Sept. 21 -27) and it gave me a jolt for sure. It doesn’t prove anything, but it’s a striking coincidence. This is a clue that I will be following up.
Many thanks to the courteous, professional and helpful staff at the LOC Manuscript Reading Room.
Next step: Review diplomatic and military correspondence from non-U.S. English speaking countries during the 1984 time frame.